The Donald Strachey Series by Richard Stevenson

An Overview by Sam Phillips    For those of you who haven't read the Donald Strachey series by Richard Stevenson, they are, for my money, some of the funniest, smartest PI novels around. The guy is just a terrific writer! Maybe even brilliant. Death Trick (1981) In the series opener Albany PI Donald Strachey takes … Continue reading The Donald Strachey Series by Richard Stevenson

From Spenser to Yeats: Jane Yeats, That Is

Feminism's Version of the Hard-boiled Sleuth is on the Wagon and Rides a Harley An Essay by Jill Edmondson    Start with one serving of fingertips severed during a rather unfortunate version of Miller time. Blend in a blinding hangover buttressed by a British beer. Add the roar of a Harley drowning out the raspy hacking … Continue reading From Spenser to Yeats: Jane Yeats, That Is

Sex… and Crime Fiction

An Essay by Jill Edmondson "A dirty book is rarely dusty." -- unknown SEX! Now that I have your attention, let's start off with a couple of disconnects. First, the claim that "sex sells." Next is the recognition that in crime fiction readers can find detailed, graphic, visceral descriptions of death and dying, but not … Continue reading Sex… and Crime Fiction

“No Chance in Hell” by Nick Quarry

A Review by August West Marvin H. Albert used his Nick Quarry pseudonym for all six of his Jake Barrow private eye novels. We're not breaking new ground here, but all the novels have hair-trigger action and are excellent. And No Chance in Hell, published in 1960, is one of the best from the series. It starts … Continue reading “No Chance in Hell” by Nick Quarry

Amy Gray (Spygirl)

Created by Amy Gray "You're on boycott. I'm sending you a one-way ticket to disstown." -- an old boyfriend dismisses Amy In her best-selling 2003 roman à clef Spygirl, Big Apple writer Amy Gray relates her "True Adventures from My Life as a Private Eye." Gray was a twenty-something grunt toiling away in the New … Continue reading Amy Gray (Spygirl)

Heavier Than Broken Hearts

The 2013 Raymond Chandler InterviewConducted by Ben Solomon BEN SOLOMON: Mr. Chandler, I thank you for granting this interview. I'm sure readers everywhere are plenty grateful, not to mention awful surprised. RAYMOND CHANDLER: Dead men are heavier than broken hearts. SOLOMON: I understand you didn't go for it at first. I mean the first time … Continue reading Heavier Than Broken Hearts

Forgotten Hammett: A Long Lost Interview

House Burglary Poor Trade By Helen Herbert Foster Fall-Winter 1929, The Brooklyn Eagle Magazine Of all the men embezzling from their employers with whom I have had contact, I can't remember a dozen who smoked, drank or had any of the vices in which bonding companies are so interested. Nor have I have ever known … Continue reading Forgotten Hammett: A Long Lost Interview

“It’s Not Supposed to Matter”

"The Conversation" Remembered You can't fit The Conversation into any neat, cinematic genre convention. It's a bleak, cynical character study within a psychological thriller. It's also an inside-out twist on the traditional hard-boiled P.I. as Round Table knight. Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) is no gumshoe. He's a surveillance expert. A legendary eavesdropper considered tops in … Continue reading “It’s Not Supposed to Matter”

Those ’70s Shows

It was while I was first compiling the site's  chronological listing of movies that the realization came to me that the seventies were a very good decade indeed for the private eye film. You could easily argue that the "Golden Age of P.I. Flicks" was the forties and at least the first half of the … Continue reading Those ’70s Shows

Looking for the Connections

Reconsidering Altman's "The Long Goodbye" I think Altman's rendition of The Long Goodbye gets a bad rap. Fans of Raymond Chandler's poetic novels and Bogart's iconic portrayal find Elliot Gould as a smart-ass, sleepy "Rip Van Marlowe" too much of a change in character. Gould's Philip Marlowe is a man who fell asleep in the … Continue reading Looking for the Connections